Who is Patrick Cote? That's right, he's the guy that last fought at UFC 90 against Anderson Silva before his knee decided to TKO him. That was nearly a year and a half ago and yet Cote jumps right back on the horse and takes on a guy that's been on a roll as of late in Alan Belcher.
Cote comes into this fight with an overall record of (13-5) with six wins via KO/TKO and 3 via submission. Cote had won 5 fights in a row prior to the loss to Silva, but you can throw any and all of that momentum out the window with the long layoff. Cote prefers to stand and bang it out on the feet as does Belcher most of the time, so that does play to Cote's advantage. Mainly, because he will not have to worry about gassing from defending and attempting takedown. However, he will have to find his range and timing, which is something the long layoff will definitely have an affect on. Cote has stated that training has gone well and that's he's feeling very calm before this fight, but doesn't every fighter say that?
Belcher comes into this fight with wins in 3 out of his last 4, with the loss being a razor close split decison against Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 100 that many people thought he won. Belcher brings an overall record of (15-6) with 8 wins via KO/TKO and 5 wins via submission. As I mentioned earlier, Belcher likes to stand and bang as well with is muay thai background, but he's well versed in submissions as well being a BJJ brown belt. I think Belcher's definitely the more well rounded fighter, but Cote has an good power in his hands that could possibly be an equalizer of sorts.
Basically this fight comes down to the long layoff being a factor for Cote. Belcher should be able to win this fight either via submission or decision as Cote has never been knocked out before. However, Belcher has also shown the propensity in the past to lose fights that he should have won. This fight is no different and could possibly be a trap fight for him. I think Cote will have a difficult time finding his range and Belcher will probably pick him apart standing. I doubt this fight ever hits the ground unless somebody gets knocked down or something. I think the layoff will be too much for Cote to overcome. I'm go with Belcher via unanimous decision.